The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision divides into three distinct elements, each designed as a separate volume: the national archives, where all the audiovisual material ever produced since the early days of Dutch radio and television is preserved, the TV and Radio exhibition centre for the public and a research institute for professionals.
The audiovisual archives - that need rigorously strict climatic conditions but no daylight - are conceived as five underground vault floors. The exhibition rooms are organized in a huge ziggurat shape floating in the air. The institute’s offices are housed in a simple slab on the side. Together these three distinct volumes form one giant cube, half above ground and half under ground, while leaving a giant empty space in the middle. This central space stitches together all the components of the institute. It is the central public atrium for visitors, professionals and collaborators, used for gatherings of the television community in the Media Park. The upside-down cascade of the stepped museum floors, clad in metal vibrating plates, registers as a wall sculpture that shapes and scales the internal space of the building. From the entrance the visitors are guided via a bridge over a deep canyon that dramatically shows the scale and sheer size of the archives vault. One of the canyon's sides is a flush wall with windows that radiate an orange gloom, as if the concealed sounds and images speak to the visitor from within the archives. On the other side of the canyon rises a series of inverted terraces that contain the viewing studios for professional researchers. Zenithal daylight streams in through the skylights down to the lowest levels of the vault. Coloured and tempered light enters through the glazed frontage of the superstructure.
The glass façade is based on original TV-images that were taken from the archives of the institute and translated into 2100 different coloured high relief glass panels, composed by graphic designer Jaap Drupsteen. In this way the quality of light transmitting trough contemporary stained glass windows was achieved, giving the building a lightly tactile surface, where iconic images of Dutch TV-history appear and disappear during the day in the breaking of the light.
Situated in Hilversum, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision is one of the largest audiovisual archives in Europe with its collection of more than 750,000 hours of television, radio, music and film. The institute manages over 70 percent of the Dutch audiovisual heritage. All programs of the Dutch public broadcasters come in digitally every day.
Saint-Gobain Glassolutions has installed a façade with the surface of 5000m², which became one of the biggest projects of Glassolutions with CREA-LITE. The colorful and moulded glass shows a high luminous transmission by keeping at the same time a guaranteed privacy. Listening to the sounds coming around the world, standing in the inverted image of glass, CREA-LITE creates a perfect atmosphere for visitors to be personally on the scene.
The images that were chosen for the façade are still images from the film and TV archives stored inside the building. The building was meant to be a landmark. The content of the building - literally - was used to decorate the outside. The images have been frame grabbed from videotapes. The design and styling process was executed in After Effects. The b/w contrast of the images was translated into relief lines. The colors were overexposed and horizontally motion blurred, as if a virtual camera moved over the images, thus forming an endless row of connected images spiraling around the building.
The technical development has been a pretty risky procedure. Architect Michiel Riedijk and I demanded the glass should be colored in a direct 'computer to print' process. We wanted to avoid human interpretation of the digital images.
On the day of the deadline different companies and specialists presented their solutions. None of the results and none of the production procedures, were meeting our standards.
In the meantime TNO Eindhoven became involved. I explained our requirement of a 'computer to print' process and they showed interest. TNO developed a special printer for glass pigments and thus made it possible to produce the amount of 748 different images.